Jimi Manuwa borrowed a page from the Mark Hunt playbook.
“Poster Boy” shut down “The Ultimate Fighter 19” winner Corey Anderson with a walk-off left hook in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 107 “Manuwa vs. Anderson” headliner on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London. Manuwa (17-2, 6-2 UFC) finished it 3:05 into Round 1, winning for the third time in four fights while positioning himself for a possible title shot in the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight division.
Anderson (9-3, 6-3 UFC) found himself trapped on the feet, as the Allstars Training Center rep stifled his bids for takedowns. Manuwa pushed him backward and uncorked a left hook to the temple that sent a stiff and unconscious Anderson crashing to the mat at the base of the fence. No other shots were necessary, referee Leon Roberts arriving on the scene to survey the damage soon after (online betting).
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Nelson Guillotine Taps Jouban
SBG Ireland’s Gunnar Nelson submitted Alan Jouban with a second-round guillotine choke in the welterweight co-main event. Jouban (15-5, 6-3 UFC), who had never before been submitted, conceded defeat 46 seconds into Round 2, his three-fight winning streak having run its course.
Nelson (16-2-1, 7-2 UFC) was in charge from start to finish. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt delivered a first-round takedown, slid to side control and climbed to full mount, as he made the strongest of opening statements. Early in the second round, he staggered Jouban with a straight right, followed it with a head kick when the stricken Resurrection Fighting Alliance veteran retreated to the fence and then clamped down in the fight-ending guillotine, moving to a mounted position to force the tapout.
The 28-year-old Nelson has notched two straight victories since his ill-fated encounter with Demian Maia in December 2015.
Vera Head Kick Ambushes Pickett
“The Ultimate Fighter Latin America” semifinalist Marlon Vera took out the retiring Brad Pickett with a head kick and follow-up hammerfists in the third round of their bantamweight showcase. A replacement for the injured Enrique Briones, Vera (9-3-1, 3-2 UFC) brought it to a close 3:50 into Round 3.
Pickett (25-14, 5-9 UFC) was seemingly headed for a unanimous decision at the time of the stoppage. The American Top Team rep showed off the well-rounded skills that made him so successful during a 12-year career, as he integrated powerful takedowns and positional control on the ground with mean left hooks on the feet. Vera was undeterred. The Team Oyama prospect met Pickett with stepping knees and punching volleys while searching for openings. Vera found what he was looking for in the third round, where he floored Pickett with a head kick and drew the curtain with standing-to-ground hammerfists.
Vera, 24, has rattled off back-to-back wins.
Prospect Allen Outduels Amirkhani
Tristar Gym prospect Arnold Allen continued his steady climb at 145 pounds, as he captured a split decision over Makwan Amirkhani in an entertaining back-and-forth featherweight feature. Judges Mark Collett and Paul Sutherland struck 30-27 scorecards for Allen, while Howard Hughes saw it 29-28 for Amirkhani.
The three-round bout was marked by wild momentum swings. Amirkhani (13-3, 3-1 UFC) executed takedowns in all three rounds and aggressively hunted chokes. Allen denied all his advances, drained his gas tank and capitalized when the SBG Ireland export overextended himself on the ground. The 23-year-old reversed into top position on more than one occasion, achieved full mount in the second round and wheeled to back late in the third, where his slipped his arms underneath Amirkhani’s chin just as the final horn sounded.
Allen (12-1, 3-0 UFC) has won five fights in a row.